Twitter Decides to Ban Political Advertisements on its Platform

Posted: Oct 30, 2019 9:18 PM
Twitter Decides to Ban Political Advertisements on its Platform

Source: AP Photo/Richard Drew, File

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Wednesday announced that his social media website would no longer allow political advertising. According to Dorsey, a "political message" should be earned by politicians, which can be done by gaining followers and followers retweeting their message. 

Dorsey made it very clear that advertising is lucrative but comes with risks, a clear jab at Facebook, who decided not to fact check or remove politicians' political ads. 

He also called into question a social media platform's ability to be credible when, on one hand, they allow politicians to pay to play, but on the other hand, they attempt to halt the spreading of misinformation. The two aren't necessarily mutually exclusive. 

Dorsey also realized that single-issue advocacy groups could circumvent the candidate-only ads. Think about it: how many times does a group like Planned Parenthood buy ads discouraging people to vote for a pro-life candidate or Everytown for Gun Safety push digital ads in favor of gun control candidates? 

Twitter will release their final plan by the 15th and start enforcing the policy on the 22nd. 

The social media platform's Chief Financial Officer followed up by saying less than $3 million was spent on political advertising during the 2018 election cycle. It's hard to say just how much money Twitter will be losing as we head into the 2020 presidential campaign. Candidates and political action committees spend far more money during a presidential election than a midterm, meaning Twitter's loses will be greater than last cycle's profits.

Twitter's stock dropped more than one percent after Dorsey's announcement was made, CNBC reported.

Democrats praised Twitter's decision.

The Trump campaign, however, took issue with the policy change.

"Twitter just walked away form hundreds of millions of dollars of potential revenue, a very dumb decision for their stockholders," Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a statement. "Will Twitter also be stopping ads from biased liberal media outlets who will now run unchecked as they buy obvious political content meant to attack Republicans? This is yet another attempt to silence conservatives, since Twitter knows President Trump has the most sophisticated online program ever known."